Keith Urban survived the cut.
Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly confirmed that the country artist will return to American Idol next year.
That fills one slot on the long-running reality series, which fell to series-low ratings last season. Former judges Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson and Nicki Minaj are not returning. At least two other judges will be added to the panel in the coming weeks, possibly will.i.am and/or Jennifer Lopez (again). Jennifer Hudson has also been widely rumored, but isn’t considered a very likely addition.
Reilly said he’s seeking “comfortable judges that make it comfortable to view” the show. He also said, in what seems to be an annual statement about Idol, that next season will focus more on the contestants and less on the judges.
The executive made the statement at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour in Beverly Hills on Thursday.
Reilly was also asked about X Factor, which is radically rebooting its pane for the third year in a row. This year, Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland join Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato. “I don’t know that [the panel has] been a problem per se,” he said. “You’re trying to find four judges trying to find the right chemistry, I think the panel for the most part last year worked… Simon is a perfectionist. Demi was a great piece of the puzzle … this year we’ve really got right.”